Tha Tattoo Murders(Disney-Hotstar, 7 Episodes)
Starring Meera Chopra, Tanuj Virwani
Directed by Shravan Kumar Tiwari
One * star for the solid effort put in by the two main actors to make this sleazy potpourri of sex and murder more palatable than it would have been otherwise. Both Meera Chopra and Tanuj Virwani playing cop and criminal inject a sense of urgency to the plot which scampers all over the place like an inebriated rat looking for a place to get some sleep.
Restless and sleazy,The Tattoo Murders(earlier titled Kamathipura) is a pulpy puzzle and finally a mindless mess. The atmosphere created in this series is so sleazy I wondered who the target-audience for the 7 episodes of mayhem and sleaze was. I believe lowbrow crime and campy sex have a younger non-metropolitan audience.This series feels like those softcover pulp novels that used to be available on railways stations and pavement book stalls.
There is a disquieting lack of sophistication in the presentation, with sex workers getting killed brutally one after another.Not that there is any graphic violence in the presentation. I don’t think this series could afford to stage elaborate violence. The budgetry constraints are evident everywhere.
Not all the violence is gratuitous and not all the writing is clumsy. I am sure there is a solid cat-and-mouse tale waiting to pounce out of the turgid plot. What we get is woefully inept. While Virwani and Chopra as cop and killer struggle to keep the topheavy plot afloat, it is rueful to see seasoned actors like Kulbhushan Kharbanda(as Meera’s dad) and Anang Desai (as her boss) cast in uni-dimensional roles that demand strictly functional noises from them.
If only the writing was sharper and the marginal characters were not a blur and a blob in the bloodied plot, this tale about what an abusive childhood could do your life would have amounted to something more than just a titillating timepasser.